In 2008 the PCC of our churches agreed to pursue a programme of activities which will hopefully result in RTM being awarded Ecocongregation status.
Environmental degradation is the major issue of our generation, and rising carbon dioxide emissions could push our planet past the point of no return within only a few years. As Christians, we have a duty to act to safeguard God’s creation. Ecocongregation was started with a view to helping every parish assess its environmental impact and become ‘greener’ in our lives together.
So what has happened so far? All three churches are engaged in a programme of activities to reduce their ecological footprint. In some cases, this involves modernising our buildings to be more energy-efficient; our parish architect has recently made some suggestions towards this. We also need to use resources more sparingly, source them sustainably, and dispose of waste responsibly. Our liturgy should celebrate God’s gift of the natural world, and our mission should reach out to help others join us in nurturing, rather than exploiting, our environment.
And what we do needs to extend into our own family lives as well as how we act as a church. So with this in mind, here are just some of the things you could check you’re doing to help protect our planet:
- Recycle all you can – make sure your recycling bins are fuller than your waste bins each week – and buy products made from recycled materials
- Use sustainable energy – suppliers like Ecotricity, Scottish Power’s Green Energy H2O, and many more, invest only in renewable sources
- Don’t waste energy – is your house fitted with low-energy bulbs, do you have good insulation, and are you careful to use only what energy you need?
- Shop sensibly – organic and Fairtrade products are better for the world, and always take your own shopping bags rather than picking up plastic
- How do you get around? Think carefully before taking a flight, and when could you walk or cycle instead of using the car
- Get the message out – we need to act together, and encourage our Government if we’re going to have an impact
If you have more time, you could grow your own food, take part in environmental campaigns, or get involved in organisations such as Operation Noah, Richmond Environment Network, or Christian Ecology Link.
We’re hoping we can become an Ecocongregation by the end of 2009. If we can provide any extra information, contact Tim Harris. Only together can we make a difference.
Extra environmental resources
- Top scientific findings from the Royal Society
- Explore the work of the IPCC
- Learn about the environment with the WWF